Triage Requests

In January 2021 we started to offer Triage for development sites for the first time.

Triage is for a high level overview of a development site based on a planning ‘first principles’ assessment and is conducted by Jon McDermott on Friday afternoon (leave permitting). Since we launched Triage it has proven to be a useful tool for property investors, developers and other professionals to access first stage advice from our planning team.

In 2023 we have enhanced this service and are now able to offer more triage capacity.

What you get within a Triage Appointment?

  • You can discuss any site in England and any form of proposal within a triage appointment.
  • Triage is there for us to help you filter the good sites from the bad so you are working towards development that works in principle right from the outset.
  • Triage appointments are either 30 or 60 minutes in length. Within 30 mins we can deal with a MAXIMUM of 3 development sites. If you are seeking advice on more than 3 sites you will be invited to book a double slot or another time slot within the following triage week.
  • There is no aftercare offered within a triage appointment. If your development is acceptable in principle you will be invited to instruct us to make an application on your behalf. If you need more advice you will be invited to use one of our other advice services.

What can we not cover within a Triage Appointment?

  • We cannot give advice that would amount to a second opinion where there is already a Chartered Town Planner appointed on the site. Such requests are contrary to the RTPI Code of Professional Conduct and cannot be dealt with through Triage.
  • We cannot give legal advice on matters outside the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act (such as the effect of Covenants).

How many appointments are available per week?

Triage appointments are offered on a first come first served basis and need to be booked 3 days in advance of your appointment. A maximum of 12×30 minute slots are available per week. We do not offer any triage service outside of these times irrespective of your own circumstances.

Please be aware that there may be times where we are unable to offer a Triage service in any given week.

Please ensure that you attend your appointment promptly or contact us beforehand if you cannot attend as we can then offer your slot to another party.

What does it cost?

Triage appointments cost £130.68 + inc VAT per 30 min appointment and £261.36 inc VAT per 1hr appointment and are subject to our standard terms of service set out below.

How do I book?

For a triage appointment on projects please complete a booking using either of the forms below. We will then be in touch for details of your enquiries and to take payment for the appointment.

Our Terms of Service

Our General Terms of Business are set out below and apply to all planning consultancy work being undertaken by the practice. We publish this information freely to ensure that everyone is aware.

Please find as set out below our terms of business.

  1. General Conditions

1.1 All engagements accepted by Town Planning Expert are subject to the following terms of engagement except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.

1.2 We will observe the byelaws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Royal Town Planning Institute and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will in accordance with those guidelines. Copies of the RTPIs Code of Professional Conduct are available from the RTPIs website

1.3 All fees and charges submitted by other specialists sub-contracted by prior agreement with the client shall be the responsibility of and payable by the client.

1.4 Every care will be taken when carrying out client instructions. No responsibility is accepted for errors or matters beyond our reasonable control.

1.5 The practice shall not subcontract any part of the commission without first receiving approval in writing from the client with a clear understanding of responsibilities.

  1. Client Monies

2.1 We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account.

  1. Fees

3.1 Our fees are calculated on the basis of the time we will spend on your affairs and on the level of skill and responsibility involved. Our fees are fixed at the point of engagement and are not negotiable.

3.2 The following costs are normally added to fee accounts as disbursements;

Ordnance Survey maps

Pre-application fees charged by a local authority

Planning application fees charged by the local authority

Mileage from the consultants base to the site.

3.3 Invoices will be submitted on a completed electronically signed Work Order and must be paid in full upon receipt of invoice. We reserve the right to charge interest on any amounts owing at 5% above Bank of England base rate. We reserve the right to suspend work on projects where accounts are outstanding after 20 days, other than by prior agreement. In the event that the Client seeks to cancel prior to delivery of the work instructed this will be carried out in accordance with Clauses 3.5 and 3.6 of these terms and conditions. 

3.4 If it is necessary to carry out additional work outside of the agreed brief then this work will involve additional fees. We will provide an estimate of such fees before commencing additional work.

3.5 In the event the Client seeks to cancel this instruction prior to submission to the relevant authority the Consultant reserves the right to recover their costs in preparing abortive work at a rate of £198.00 plus VAT per hour.

3.6 In the event that the Client on completion of an instruction prior to payment seeks to cancel the Consultant reserves the right to recover their costs in abortive administrative work at a fixed rate of £198.00 plus VAT.  

3.7. Any delay in receiving information, changes in Client’s instruction or any matter outside our control which leads to additional work may result in an additional fee.

  1. Limitation of liability

4.1 We will endeavor to provide professional services with reasonable care and skill. However, we will not be held responsible for any losses arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect of incomplete information, or a failure of you or others to supply any appropriate information or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us or relevant authorities.

  1. Law

5.1. This contract is subject to the Laws and Statutes of England and Wales

  1. Complaints

6.1. Any concerns over the level of service received should be dealt with in the first instance by the Office Manager.

  1. Acceptance of Terms

7.1. Instruction to proceed with work or services, acceptance of an estimate, acceptance and payment in whole or in part of an invoice and/or instruction to proceed with further works outside of an existing engagement constitutes acceptance of these terms of business.